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COLLECTION Identifier: HOLLIS 009497011

Papers, 1912-1983.


Papers of Ukranian émigré Yaroslav J. Chyz including publications (1923-1963); telegrams (1917-1918); photographs (1914-1950s); and miscellaneous material (1914-1924). The collection as a whole provides insights into events related to the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II in early 1917 and the ensuing hostilities that enveloped Eastern Europe. It also reveals Chyz's active involvement in the press, organizations, and cultural and civic affairs of American nationality groups.


  • Creation: 1912-1983.

Language of Materials

In Ukrainian, Russian, English and German.


1 collection (3 boxes (1.5 linear feet))

The collection as a whole provides insights into events related to the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II in early 1917 and the ensuing hostilities that enveloped Eastern Europe. It also reveals Chyz's active involvement in the press, organizations, and cultural and civic affairs of American nationality groups.

The first series of the collection relates directly to Chyz's personal life. His personal files contain biographical information, such as an autobiographical sketch of his meeting with Nikita Krushchev and several obituaries; certificates and diplomas related to his education and community work; letters of condolence written to his wife Josephine upon his death; and background material related to his collection of telegrams.

The second series is comprised of some of his published articles and brochures, most of which pertain to his work on foreign language press, nationality issues, and on Ukrainian immigration to the United States. The articles are arranged alphabetically by title.

The third series consists of telegrams that were recorded by Chyz in longhand from March 1917 to March 1918, when he was a lieutenant in the radio-intelligence corps of the Austrian Army stationed at Kovel, not far from Brest-Litovsk. Most of the messages are in transliterated Russian, although some are also in German. They are without exception of Russian origin. The telegrams are arranged chronologically. They are dated and carry the names of both the sender and sending station, as well as that of the organization or individual to whom they were addressed. Some of the telegrams are from individuals, such as one signed by Trotsky on November 13, 1917, but largely they are from various revolutionary groups, both Bolshevik and anti-Bolshevik. Among the telegrams, there are messages referring to Tsar Nicholas's attempt to escape, Poland's declaration of independence, Germany's peace proposals to the Russians, Aleksandr Kerenskii's negotiations with the Central Rada in Ukraine, the Bolshevik Revolution and to the Third Universal of the Central Rada.

The fourth series is made up photographs of Chyz from his days in the Austrian Army and Sich Riflemen up to his employment with the Common Council for American Unity. Most of the photographs are portraits, including some of Chyz in military uniform. Among the photographs are two taken in Prague circa 1914 of Chyz with a group of unidentified students, and several more of Chyz with unidentified soldiers.

The last series includes various miscellaneous material, such as a report submitted by Nicholas Ceglinsky on Ukraine to the Austro-Hungarian Foreign Minister, Leopold von Berchtold, as well as a silver cigarette case given to Chyz by officers of an Austrian radio-intelligence unit.

Biographical / Historical

Yaroslav Ilkovych Chyz was born on February 17, 1894, in Dubliany near Lviv. He completed his secondary education in Peremyshl State Gymnasium in 1912, and then went to Prague to study at Charles University. His studies were interrupted with the outbreak of the First World War. He served as a private, non-commissioned officer with the staff of the Austrian Seventh Army and then with General Headquarters assigned to radio monitoring. After the Revolution of 1917, Chyz helped organize the Sich Riflemen and in 1919 served as a political officer on the staff of its Siege Corps. Following the defeat of the Ukrainian forces, he came to Lviv where he edited the journal Strilets'ka dumka, and pursued further studies at Lviv Ukrainian University. In 1921 he joined the Ukrainian Military Organization formed to overthrow Polish rule in Western Ukraine. Chyz participated in an unsuccessful plot against Jozef Pilsudski, and then fled to Czechoslovakia. He obtained political asylum there and resumed his studies at Charles University. He graduated from its philosophy department in 1922 with a specialization in Slavonic languages and literatures.

Chyz came to the United States on September 3, 1922, and was granted citizenship in February 1929. From 1923 to 1924 he was assistant manager of the Ukrainian Bureau of the Foreign Language Information Service in New York. From 1924 to 1942 he was editor-in-chief of Narodna volya, a Ukrainian newspaper published in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Chyz joined the staff of the Common Council for American Unity in 1942 as head of its foreign language press division, and from 1952 until his death served as associate director of the Council. He acted as adviser to the United States government on foreign language press and ethnic affairs. In 1956 he was one of the organizers and then the executive director of the Nationalities Committee of the President's People-to-People Program.

Among his civic and professional affiliations, Chyz had been a member of the Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Sciences, the One World Award Committee, the American Academy of Social and Political Science, the New York Health and Welfare Council, and the International Committee of Non-Governmental Organizations Interested in Migration. He was the 1954 recipient of the National Citation of the Philadelphia Fellowship Commission.

Chyz was also the author of numerous publications on American nationality groups and on the history of immigration. He contributed articles to The Ukrainian Review (New York), Ukrainian Life (Scranton, PA), Common Ground (New York), Slavonic Review (London), Journal of Central European Affairs (Boulder, CO), The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science (Philadelphia), and other journals.

Chyz died on December 13, 1958 in Elmhurst, New York


Organized in five series:

  1. I. Personal files, 1912-1983 [Boxes 1, oversize 4
  2. II. Publications, 1923-1963 [Box 1]
  3. III. Telegrams, 1917-1918 [Boxes 2, 3]
  4. IV. Photographs, 1914-1950s [Box 3]
  5. V. Miscellaneous material, 1914-1924 [Box 1]

Processing Information

Processed by: Ksenya Kiebuzinski

Chyz, Yaroslav J., 1894-1958. Papers, 1912-1983: A Finding Aid.
Ukrainian Research Institute
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Ukrainian Research Institute Repository

Special Collections at the Ukrainian Research Institute Library include primary sources documenting the history of Ukraine in the 20th century, and Ukrainian émigré social and cultural life in Europe, and the United States:

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